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Ezequiel Artola

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Ezequiel Artola is a partner in the Energy, Mining and Infrastructure Practice Group in Buenos Aires. He advises clients on a variety of complex transactional, general commercial and regulatory matters, with emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, commercial agreements and corporate practice. Ezequiel was assistant professor of commercial and civil contracts at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, and has written articles related to mining, oil and gas, and distribution and agency agreements.

Resolution No. 84/2022 of the Secretariat of Mining, published in the Official Gazette on 29 November 2022, created the Federal Registry of Mining Suppliers where individuals and legal entities that, due to their activity or corporate purpose, offer goods, inputs or services, including those of technological innovation and knowledge economy, to companies in the mining sector, may register.

National and international public tenders for the geological and feasibility exploration of 11,000 hectares in the Salinas Grandes and Laguna de Guayatayoc basins consisting of seven mining properties, in the province of Jujuy, Argentina, will soon be launched for the eventual development and production of lithium carbonate. The bidding documents are for sale until 28 November 2022 and offers will be opened on 12 December 2022. The Tender is based on a private initiative proceeding initiated by Lithos Desarrollos Energéticos SA, which grants the company preference in consideration of bids.

Argentina has passed Resolutions AFIP 16/2022 and 19/2022 to create a “Vaca Muerta” customs corridor. The purpose of these resolutions is to accelerate the customs clearance process for imports of goods to be used in the construction of the “Gasoducto Presidente Néstor Kirchner” gas pipeline as well as in the development and exploitation of the Vaca Muerta oilfield. Once the resolutions are implemented, they will substantially reduce the amount of time it takes to import covered goods.

On 3 August 2021, Resolution No. 742/2021 (“Resolution”) was published, whereby the Secretary of Energy (“Secretary”) issued new measures to be applied in favor of the successful bidders of the “RenovAr Program” (“Program”) projects delayed in obtaining commercial authorization or failing to provide the committed energy supply.

These measures, subject to certain requirements, involve the following incentives: (i) reduction of penalties; and (ii) extension of deadline to achieve commercial authorization.

By National Law No. 27,640, published on 4 August 2021, the National Congress approved the new regulatory framework for biofuels that will be valid in Argentina from 5 August 2021 until at least 31 December 2030 (“Law”). The Law establishes, among others, new mandatory percentages of biofuels to be included in blends with fossil fuels reducing from 10% to 5% the prior percentage for biodiesel, granting more discretion to the enforcement authority, and establishing tax exemptions while repealing previous tax benefits.

Through Resolution No. 706/2021, published on July 27 2021 and in effect as from that day, the Secretary of Energy created the “Liquefied Natural Gas Operators Registry” within the scope of the Undersecretariat of Hydrocarbons, dependent on the Secretary and the Ministry of Economy. The Resolution also regulated the requirements for granting LNG export permits for up to 20 years.

By means of National Decree No. 427/2021 (“Decree”), published on 1 July 2021, the National Executive Power granted the General Ports Administration (AGP), a State Company, the concession for the maintenance of a signaling system, dredging and re-draining tasks, and hydrological control of the Paraguay-Paraná Waterway (“Waterway”) for a period of 12 months, or until it is awarded by another entity through an international bidding proceeding.